Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Lockdown Blues

Hello there. I think it's been about a month since my last post. Things have been plodding along in roughly the same way. We're still going on our evening walks, although, now we're allowed to travel further afield in order to exercise, we've been driving out in Bridget.  It's a bit of a relief as we'd exhausted all the local public footpaths.  The weather has been helping as it's still glorious, although the garden could do with a jolly good downpour.
I had a few days last week when it all got a bit much. I was (still am) missing the girls terribly, that and worrying about R's job and the general fallout surrounding the Coronavirus sent me spinning into an whirl of anxiety. I know that compared to a lot of people we are very fortunate: everyone is safe and well; we are lucky enough to have enough food; a home with a garden and savings to tide us over if necessary. The problem is that logical thinking doesn't really help when everything seems overwhelming. Fortunately, this week seems a bit better; all the problems are still there but I'm coping okay.

Here then are the photos from the past month:
We have instituted a virtual 'Friday Night Family Quiz Night' on Zoom. We each take turns to host and it's the highlight of my week; it's so lovely to see everyone. More 'Wallaby hops' to anyone who can work out the Dingbat below (Incidentally, for those who didn't guess the quotation from my last post, it was the opening sentence from Jane Eyre). I hosted the first quiz and, being very low tech, did everything on paper. Everyone else, of course, has since done it all online; I'm going to have to up my game for this Friday!  
Finishing my 'Linus Shawl'. This was a really comforting knit - I do love a bit of garter stitch. You don't have to think until you get to the end of a row so it's perfect TV knitting. The yarn was bought at 'Unravel' in Farnham back in February. It seems weird to think about that now - all those people crowding together in an enclosed space.

 A local walk in the woods: 

Playing with clay again. I had fun making scoops and spoons. The tutor's instructions were to make something influenced by a piece of writing or poetry. I chose a line from T.S. Eliot's 'The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock' where he says 'I have measured out my life in coffee spoons'. A bit of a literal interpretation I know but I had fun!
Finishing my 'Quarantine Quilt' top:
It's not perfect by any means - my flying geese are a bit hit and miss - but doing a couple of squares a day helped to keep me sane. I ordered the wadding and backing fabric online and it is now all sandwiched together and waiting to be hand quilted.
 Low key celebrations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day. I made a VE day chocolate cake and dusted my Grandfather's medals. He fought in both world wars - lying about his age for the first one - and died when I was about 11. When my Dad was helping to clear out his flat, he asked me if  there was anything that I'd like to keep. I chose his medals as I knew how proud he was of them, and they've been on my wall ever since. Apologies for the photo being a little off kilter; the reflections made it difficult to see them from straight on. 
  Reading another of the books that E bought me for our 2nd hand Christmas. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's a story, told over 7 nights, about a man who rose from the darkness of village life in rural India to become a rich entrepreneur. He also murdered his employer on the way! 
 Rhubarb and ginger jam:
 A walk and a picnic on the White Horse Trail in Pewsey. The views were stunning:

  Finishing my 'Rosemont Cardigan' by Hannah Fettig. It's currently blocking and will probably then have to be put away until the autumn as it's super cosy.
 Enjoying the scent of my Gertrude Jekyll rose:
 Making more kombucha. This is one of my scobys:
 Another walk and a picnic, this time starting at Jane Austen's house in Chawton:
 Although Jane is buried in Winchester cathedral, her mother and sister are buried in the graveyard of St. Nicholas' church in the village:

  A magnificent yew tree in the graveyard of another church on the walk:

Enjoying the wisteria - all the flowers have gone now.
  Tree bumblebees in the nest box. When I took the photo there were only 1 or 2 bees circling the box, there is now a dense drone cloud and they are quite intimidating. The box is near to our garden store where we keep the tools and rotary washing line. I have to access it at least once a day and I try not to make eye contact! :o)
 The first home grown salad of the season:
Well, that's all for the moment. I hope you are all keeping well and sane during this difficult time. R discovered a free newspaper in our larder this morning. It was dated from the end of February and, apparently, 2020 is going to be the 'Year of the Pretty Dress'! I'm not entirely sure that that is what we'll remember from this year but, just in case, I'm off to dust off my posh frock. :0) Stay well, my friends.

Toodle pip for now. x


  1. What a beautiful collection of photos. I understand what you mean about The Lockdown, we're all worrying about the country. I suppose we are lucky that the weather has been good, rain would make this worse! I haven't seen my 11 month old granddaughter so for long and that makes me sad.
    Not making eye contact with the bees has made me chuckle! The Rosemont Cardigan is in my queue too. Looks super cosy. Your quilt top? Just stunning. Can't find any references to the 'Year of the Pretty Dress' but that doesn't stop us does it? We will get through this. :-). Stay safe. Clicky Needles. x

  2. That old yew tree is magnificent, I'm a huge fan of them, amazing things. The no eye contact with the bees made me laugh too. Excellent making, you've been busy. I know exactly what you mean about the whirl of anxiety, you have expressed it very well, it's much the same here. I'm glad you're feeling better about it this week. CJ xx

  3. Love your quilt , scarf and cardigan. You have been busy. Lots of people seem to be having a bit of a blip at the moment. I guess the stiff upper lip has to quiver occasionally and it’s good to let off a bit of steam. Glad you have been having a few outings further afield, I bet Bridget is too :). Hope you get to give your girls a big hug very soon. Meanwhile I guess you will have to make do with Hamish. B x

  4. Ah, yes, some days are better than others. I had a few not so good ones but seem to be coping better again. I am glad you are feeling better, too. Your flying geese quilt looks so pretty, I love the soft colours. I feel a new quilt coming in my heart but haven't decided on a design yet.... I like the planning. Your salad crop looks delicious, nothing really beats freshly harvested salad with a light dressing.

  5. Missing family...oh I get that! Lovely that you got out for a run in dear old Bridget! I wish it would poUr down too, it hasn't rained here in a month! Dingbat...Wuthering Heights??
    I love that shawl and the clay spoons! So wonderful to see you grandfather's medals. Re Yew trees, they often turn up in cemeteries as they were thought of as a bridge between the living and the dead.I'm fascinated by the bumbles moving into the nest box...how wonderful, you had me laughing there as well. Hang on in there, I have wobbly moments too and am just thankful that everyone I know wakes up well each day.xxx

    1. Ooh, good guess and, coincidentally, the book I'm re-reading at the moment! The answer is actually 'feeling under the weather'. Now that the regulations have changed, I hope you are able to see a lot more of Littl'urchin. Stay safe, my friend. xx

  6. Good to see you back here! I've popped by a few times so happy to see a new post. The jam sounds delicious (I love anything with ginger!), love your quilt, spoons and shawl. As always, I have enjoyed your photos of the English countryside. I hope you get to see your girls soon x

  7. Homegrown lettuce, shawls, spoons, and lovely quilts! You have been busy! I would love some of that rhubarb ginger jam. I imagine it would be very tasty on a homemade hot and buttery southern biscuit. I'm already looking forward to your next post.

  8. I love your spoons and your quilt. I think lockdown has affected an awful lot of people with highs and lows, appreciating what is truly important in life. I'm starting week 12 of shielding and haven't left the house since March! My car will probably have a flat battery when I'm finally allowed out! xxx

  9. Just stopping through again to wish you well.

  10. Your quilt is gorgeous. A great post altogether.

  11. Beautiful photos, so many things ... beautiful needlework, flowers, animals, a beautiful church building. The photos took me there.